Thursday, March 17, 2011

The 1996 Indian fortune

Well the last time the world cup was held in the sub continent was in 1996 needless to be said and the cup should have been something special for India which included the highest wicket taker and the highest run getter in the tournament when Anil Kumble took 15 wickets and Sachin Tendulkar scored 523 runs. Another interesting fact is that they not only beat arch rivals Pakistan but also expelled them from the world cup after a thumping 39 run triumph against the sub-continent nation. Finally the semi-finals at Eden Gardens against Sri Lanka is worth mentioning which turned out to be a match which yielded no result.

Another interesting fact would be that India never toured any other country despite Pakistan and Sri Lanka being the co-hosts. India started off with their first match against Kenya at Cuttack followed by their match against West Indies at Gwalior. Then, the third match against Australia was played at Mumbai with the fourth against Sri Lanka played at Firozshah Kotla stadium Delhi. Last but not the least the match against Zimbabwe was played at Kanpur. The remaining two matches namely the quarter-finals against Pakistan and semi-finals against Sri Lanka was played at Kolkata (then Calcutta). That was the end of the tournament for India.

Nothing can be done regarding the pool matches which were scheduled in India whenever India was playing. Perhaps! Had the India-Sri Lanka league stage match been held somewhere in Colombo, may be Sri Lanka would have walked away with another win without having had to take to the crease like it happened in the matches between West Indies and Australia against Sri Lanka. Even the league stage matches might have been held either in Pakistan or Sri Lanka and God knows what made the ICC go in for only Indian pitches when Sri Lanka and Pakistan were made to cross the border. For a change, I thinking about nurse's thoughts.

Pakistan played India in Bangalore and Sri Lanka in Delhi and Kolkata. Even the league stage matches for Pakistan were played in Pakistan until the quarter-finals. But, take a look at destiny. India could have qualified in the 4th place which would have seen it play a team in Karachi which eventually witnessed the biggest upset of the world cup-the West Indies-South Africa match. Likewise, had India emerged on the top, they would have played England in Faisalabad. However, with both semi-finals being held in India, there was no chance for India to move out of the country. Had India qualified to the finals, then, they would have had to tour Pakistan for the match was held in Lahore.

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